Molly Kate Kestner Broods Through the Fall of the ‘Prom Queen': PopCrush Premiere
What goes up must come down — true of the laws of gravity, according to Isaac Newton; and true of the prom queen's path, according to Molly Kate Kestner.
The husky-voiced 21-year-old, whose ascent to pop began with a series of uplifting YouTube originals (it's very possible you heard her standout "His Daughter"), has gone moodier and noticeably more sordid with her latest, "Prom Queen," the video for which PopCrush is premiering above. Here, the queen bee's crown is more glum than glam.
"The years go by and she still dreams she's the hottest girl in town / And the makeup's stronger, gotta wear it longer just to keep a man around / God save the prom queen," Kestner broods through an earthy timber. And while the song's sentiment seems as dark as an oil slick, the Minnesota native told PopCrush "Prom Queen" is ultimately about finding the light — an enduring theme across her catalog.
"The prom queen really represents anyone who has ever felt trapped inside a label that's been placed on them," she said. "I saw that happen a lot in high school. I even experienced it myself. No one really knows who they are yet; everyone is still searching for identity in something."
She added the video's duality (the story's cleaved between warring senses of perception and reality) drives home the point that looks can be deceiving.
"The light represents the outside appearance and what the world sees when they look at the prom queen: During these shots, I'm surrounded by beautiful diamond chandeliers," she said. "The dark represents how she is feeling on the inside: In these shots, I'm surrounded by mirrors which depict the distorted image she sees of herself."
And while Kestner said she hopes to continue growing and experimenting, it's likely she'll continue to land on themes of "depth" and "soul" through her career.
"The heart of my music has not changed," she said. "But it has definitely been refined, along with myself as a person, and it's very relevant to where I'm at right now. And as I change and grow, so will my songs."
The Best New Artists of the Past Year: